Earth needs to prepare for a future without oil
To the Editor,
In comparison with the world daily consumption of 90 million barrels of oil, the 100 million barrels reservoir recently discovered in eastern Quebec was described as ‘vast’, but in fact is insignificant.
So are any new reservoirs representing a few days, months or years of world consumption.
It’s time to prepare for the after-oil era.
Fossil fuels gave an incredible boost to our civilization, but CO2 emissions have changed the world’s climates. Between 1980 and 2010, the number of climate disasters went from 50 to 250 per year.
According to the documentary Chasing Ice, glaciers receded more in the last decade than in the previous century. The melting of permafrost releases methane, another potent greenhouse gas. We’re not even certain the situation can be stabilized. Is that the legacy we want to leave our children?
If not, let’s abide by the principle that life should trump money. Our collective future should not be jeopardized because somebody paid for exploration rights.
As for jobs, they will also be created by the new technologies. Consider, especially, the algae fuels; they have the merit of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and rapidly yield great quantities of oils that can be treated in traditional refineries and be used in the present day cars, planes and industry. Read “Better than corn?” http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5391.
In parallel, subsidies to fossil fuels should be reduced. The alternatives will thus become competitive.
The Stone Age didn’t end for a lack of stones. The age of fossil fuels shouldn’t end for lack of reserves, but because we will have mastered more sustainable ways to meet our energy demands.
The visionary investor should understand that.